A Review of the Potential Unconstitutionality of Authorized “Spoofing” in Section 11 (E) of the Sim Registration Act

Authors: Rabi, Rhenee Kate M. and Busilan, Reyann S.

Year: 2021


In recent years, millions of Filipinos have received random messages or phone coming from fraudsters asking them to click and fall for their scams so that they may obtain personal information and use it for illicit purposes. As a result, several bills were proposed which soon after became law as Republic Act No.11934, otherwise known as the SIM Registration Act, which mandates all SIM card subscribers to register their SIM with Public Telecommunications Entities for law enforcement agencies to track then-anonymous perpetrators of mobile-based crimes. The law prohibits spoofing but also exempts it if executed by law enforcement agencies in the conduct of their authorized activities. However, the crucial gap in the language of the law probes the researchers to examine whether there is ambiguity in the provision of Section 11 (e) of RA 11934 which can potentially infringe one’s constitutional right to privacy of communication. A qualitative approach that employed a doctrinal method supported by key informant interviews conducted with law enforcement agents and judges reveals that Section 11 (e) creates a critical gap by empowering law enforcement agents to have a varied and wide interpretation in the use of spoofing. This similar notion to the Disini Jr. case may have the potential to infringe on one’s constitutional right to privacy of communication as the provision lacks restraint on what law enforcement agents may be authorized to do so, thus empowering them to conduct spoofing activities on anyone, for any purpose. Thus, this thesis aims to provide crucial information that the legislative, the NTC, the law enforcement agencies, and the general public may necessitate knowing to secure the right guaranteed by our fundamental law to everyone.

Keywords: spoofing, law enforcement agents, right to privacy of communication